Pine-boring beetles can be the culprits of browning or dying pine trees


Elaine Moody

You may notice around town that at least portions of pine trees are turning brown. 

Why is this?

According to Sally Scalera, urban horticulture agent with the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office of Brevard County, the trees are relatively fragile.

“Pine trees are not one of the tougher trees,” Scalera said.

The culprits that are often responsible for the browning and/or demise of the trees are what Scalera referred to as “pine-boring beetles that can get into them (the trees) and take them down.”

“People sometimes see the sawdust at the base, which is a sign that the beetles had gotten in,” Scalera said, adding that “there’s a number of different beetles that are pine-borers.”

Construction around pine trees can cause damage to them, Scalera said. 

Dry conditions can also cause damage to the trees as well, with even typical summertime thunderstorms apparently not enough in some instances to get the pine trees sufficient water. 

“For a tree to be thoroughly watered it needs one inch of rain at one time,” Scalera said. 

And even then, terrain can play a role. 

"If there's any kind of a slope to the yard, it can run right off," Scalera said.

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